Former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony has revealed he is working on a new project involving Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X, Aerosmith live drummer John Douglas and an as-yet-unnamed vocalist.
Speaking to interviewer Eddie Trunk on the latter’s Trunk Nation show, Anthony offered up a tantalizing tidbit.
"I wasn't going to mention anything about it,” says Anthony. “But there is a little side project thing that I've kind of been speaking to some people and might be doing a couple of things with.
“I don't wanna get ahead of myself and mention too much, but it might involve [Bon Jovi guitarist] Phil X and John Douglas, who you know as the [touring] drummer for Aerosmith right now.”
However, despite naming Phil X and Douglas, Anthony remained tightlipped when pressed about the band’s vocalist. “I don't wanna mention any names,” he tells Trunk. “But it’s a really, really cool singer. And we're recording just for fun right now, some stuff. That's all I can say.”
Even without knowing the singer, the lineup offers a wealth of top-flight experience. Phil X has a huge list of session credits to his name – playing with the likes of Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper and Tommy Lee – even before he committed to Bon Jovi in 2016.
Douglas, meanwhile, was a longterm Van Halen drum tech before he landed the Aerosmith gig, covering for the injured Joey Kramer. He also has a sideline as an artist who customizes gear – not least Joe Perry’s ‘Billie’ guitar, which featured a portrait of the guitarist’s wife.
As for the singer, there are no concrete clues from Anthony. However, there is the small matter of Anthony’s ongoing relationship with former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar. Since the bassist’s departure from Van Halen in the ’00s, the two have reunited in the supergroups Chickenfoot (which also featured Joe Satriani) and The Circle.
The warmth between the two players was still apparent when Sammy Hagar spoke to Guitar World about The Circle last fall.
“In Van Halen, Eddie was so busy with the way he played guitar that there wasn't much room for Mikey to do anything,” noted Hagar. “Eddie played lead, rhythm, melody, and in some ways, the bass line all at once because he was just a master.
“So, Mikey rarely got to stretch out, but the truth is that he’s up there with John Paul Jones, John Entwistle, Geddy Lee, and Jack Bruce, but he never got to show it with Van Halen. But now, we've got Mikey off the leash, so we get more from him than we ever got when he was in Van Halen.”